The 2021-22 season is right around the corner. Fans are back in the building, gone is the Scotiabank North Division. This season is going to feel a lot more normal than the past 2 seasons.
Recapping the offseason, GM Ken Holland was busy as he reshaped the defensive core adding the likes of Duncan Keith who brings a wealth of Stanley Cup knowledge as he is a 3x Stanley Cup champion.
Signing Cody Ceci to a 4-year deal, re-signing Tyson Barrie to a 3-year deal after his fantastic offensive season but more importantly re-signing Darnell Nurse to an 8-year deal. Up front, 2 splashes were made to answer the question of how the Oilers would address the problem of scoring depth. They signed Zach Hyman who has always potted 20 goals in the last 3 seasons. The other splash up front was acquiring Warren Foegele in the trade that sent defenceman Ethan Bear to Carolina. Warren Foegele is coming off a season where he scored 10 goals in 53 games. In the crease, they were fortunate enough to re-sign Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen.
The Oilers return to the Pacific division this season and the odds are in the Oilers favour to challenge the Vegas Golden Knights, as they are the favourite to win the Pacific division. The Oilers play a total of 7 games in October. 4 home games (Vancouver on October 13, Calgary on October 16, Anaheim on October 19 and, Philadelphia on October 27) and 3 away games (@Arizona on October 21, @Vegas on October 22, and @Vancouver on October 30). The home opener is happening Wednesday night against Vancouver. The Oilers face an early back-to-back game with Arizona and then Vegas.
The Oilers embark on their season long road trip starting on December 22nd against the Los Angeles Kings and ending the road trip on January 5th against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Oilers longest homestand is 5 games starting on March 12th against the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning and ending the homestand with a matchup against the New Jersey Devils on March 19th.
Some games that I would tune in for include:
October 16 vs the Calgary Flames. The Battle of Alberta takes place once again! The first matchup is in Edmonton and the Oilers are looking to keep the good times rolling as they won the season series between the Flames last season 6 to 4.
November 1st vs the Seattle Kraken. Although the Oilers already did play the Kraken in preseason action, the first regular-season matchup between the Oilers and Kraken comes 1 month into the season and that will also mark Adam Larsson’s return to Rogers Place where he played as an Oiler for 5 seasons.
November 16th at the Winnipeg Jets. The Oilers and Jets face-off in a 1st round rematch of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs where we saw the Winnipeg Jets pull off the upset against the Oilers and sweep them to move on in the playoffs to the 2nd round.
December 1st vs the Pittsburgh Penguins. The first time Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid face-off against one another since December 20, 2019 where the Oilers lost 5-2.
December 14th vs the Toronto Maple Leafs. In the same month playing against Sidney Crosby – Connor McDavid renews his battle with Auston Matthews. Last season Connor McDavid finished with 10 points in 9 games against the Maple Leafs.
Today, it was reported by Daniel Nugent-Bowman of The Athletic that McDavid and Draisaitl were paired alongside one another during practice which should be a whole lot of fun to watch this season.
This season should provide a lot of excitement for fans and players since it’s the first 82 game season with cross border action since 2018-19.